David Newman: Prominent New York Doctor Indicted For Allegedly Sexually Abusing Four Female Patients Under His Care

David Newman, 45, of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, was indicted Thursday for sexually abusing four female patients. Newman, who is also an Iraqi war veteran, was arrested in January accused of groping, drugging, and masturbating on a female patient, CNN is reporting.

Four patients aged between 18- and 29-years-old were allegedly abused by Newman in the months of August, September, and October. Three of the women had come to the emergency room for treatment for rashes, a cold, and headache. A fourth female patient was allegedly abused in January after being sedated by the doctor for shoulder pain.

A civil lawsuit was lodged by Aja Newman (no relation of the doctor). Aja Newman said she went to the Mount Sinai emergency room with a shoulder pain complaint on January 11. According to the lawsuit, the female patient was given morphine by David Newman even though she had already been given some pain medication. Sedated but conscious, Aja Newman said she saw and heard the doctor masturbating and ejaculating on her breasts and face.

The lawsuit said she called the police immediately after leaving the emergency room and that the DNA evidence collected at the scene matched that of the Mount Sinai doctor. The lawsuit also seeks unstipulated monetary damages and fingers emergency room staff that did little or nothing to “enforce internal policies.” Investigators are also looking if Newman had his own supply of morphine as only nurses had access to the drug at the hospital.

The Mount Sinai Hospital says he is no longer on the staff. In a statement, the hospital said that Newman, who had been an emergency room supervisor for 15 years, had been relieved of his duties ever since the NYPD began investigating the sexual abuse claims. “He has not provided care to patients at Mount Sinai since the investigation began. We take the nature of these allegations very seriously and continue to conduct our own extensive internal inquiry,” the hospital said.

The criminal complaint lodged by the 29-year-old female patient said that she told investigators she “felt a burning sensation, felt very drowsy and her eyes were closed.” But she heard Newman masturbating and felt him ejaculating on her body. She could not move or complain at that point in time. In another criminal complaint made in September, Newman had allegedly grabbed a 22-year-old woman’s breasts under her shirt when she came in with a cold.

The indictment charges the former director of clinical research in emergency medicine of four counts of third-degree sexual abuse and first-degree sexual abuse. “As alleged in this indictment, four young women who came to the hospital for medical treatment were sexually abused by the very doctor entrusted with their care. One was sedated to the point of being physically helpless—a nightmare scenario for any patient to endure,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr. said in a released statement. Newman’s attorney, Susan Necheles, said, “he is innocent and we intend to prove that at trial.”

Dr. David Newman is the author of Hippocrates’ Shadow: Secrets From the House of Medicine, a book that looks at the deterioration of patient and doctor relations and advocates how to repair the bridge between patients and doctors, published in 2008.

Newman has also given TED talks and blogged for the Huffington Post and New York Times.

[Image via Shutterstock/Syda Productions]